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The Righteous are a buzzword in Brussels

against fanaticism, for dialogue and hospitality

The Righteous of our time against fanaticism, for dialogue and hospitality

To be inaugurated on 15 July in Tunis the first Garden of the Righteous in an Arab country

Brussels, 25 May 2016– Urging the EU countries to bring about the deeds of the Righteous who defend human rights against all – past and present - persecutions, resisting terror and fundamentalism and helping the migrants. This is the call launched by Gariwo and the MEPs of the Socialists & Democrats Group (S&D) and the Anti Racism and Diversity Intergroup in the meeting “The Righteous of our time against fanaticism, for dialogue and hospitality, held today in the premises of the European Parliament in Brussels.

“They are people who reject hatred towards the migrants, fight against the fences, lend their aid to the migrants boats, and try to build experiences of dialogue and civil coexistence with people of different culture and faith – said Gabriele Nissim, Chairman of Gariwo – Through these deeds, the Righteous light on again hope and show us that solidarity can save Europe”.

On 15 July the first Garden of the Righteous in an Arab country will be inaugurated inside the Italian embassy in Tunis. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation accomplished this initiative for it deemed “essential and dutiful to cultivate the “memory of good” and remember those who risked their safety and lives to rescue the persecuted”, as wrote Minister Paolo Gentiloni in his message to the organisers of the conference.

MEP Brando Benifei (S&D group), who promoted and hosted the meeting, underlined the “duty to respond to the fear of the others by building dialogue channels” and the “duty to explain that it is precisely fear that push people to risk their lives. We must remember that it is not only a moral duty for us, but a specific international juridical obligation that of welcoming, helping, and acting”.

Roberto Jarach, vice president of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Milan, which in the past months was on the side of the institutions in aiding the migrants, confirmed that “the Holocaust Memorial is ready also this year to reopen its doors and welcome the migrants, in case Milan municipality deems this aid as necessary”.

The route to be followed is to promote in all EU countries the European Day of the Righteous, set up in 2012. This is why the conference promoters have demanded the MEPs some binding practical commitments to make European Day of the Righteous a widespread and tangible reality:

1) Demanding the European Parliament to pass a recommendation inviting the member States to recognize and celebrate this recurrence and develop an educational process at schools and in cities in order to bring about these moral examples.

2) Inviting the national Parliaments to ratify the adhesion to the European Day of the Righteous through laws or motions of support;

3) Opening a budgetary line to encourage the cultural initiatives and the promotion of Gardens of the Righteous in the European cities

4) Promoting a Parliamentary information agency that through the creation of a dedicated site shall make EU citizens aware of the stories of the Righteous and the activities connected with European Day of the Righteous

Gabriele Nissim's remarks are available in the box.

26 May 2016

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Gariwo at the European Parliament

for conference "The Righteous of our times"

The European Day of Righteous

The value of individuals and personal responsibility

On May 10, the European Parliament in Strasbourg adopted the Written Declaration establishing March 6th as European Day in memory of the Righteous.
The concept of Righteous, born from the elaboration of the Yad Vashem Memorial to remember the non-Jews who rescued the Jews, becomes the patrimony of all humanity.
The term "Righteous" is no longer confined to the Holocaust only; it becomes a point of reference for those who remember the genocide and totalitarianism in all their efforts to defend human dignity.

The significance of this decision is reminiscent of one of the cornerstones of European culture: the value of the individual and personal responsibility.


Concert for the Righteous in Warsaw

to support EU Day of the Righteous

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